November 19, 2012
No Way to Live Family farms and farmers have all but disappeared in today’s modern food production process. In today’s world with today’s population with the demands for cheap meat to serve the masses, the animals pay the ultimate price. We will see the human-animal intimacy relationship change since the years of family farms. Animal cruelty is happening in the factory-farming industry even today. The human relationship to meat production animals was been changed in the sense that the consumer has distanced themselves from the reality of the violence associated with the mass production process. Human disassociation and technology advancements have paved the way for these factory farms to exist and thrive without recourse for their actions in most accounts.
Consumer Disassociation with Meat Production Profitability in this industry is made possible by mass-production, which means many animals in tight quarters (since land is very expensive) we see thousands perhaps tens of thousands of animals crammed into tight places. Feed for thousands of animals is expensive so growth steroids are used and cheap fatty feed (like corn) is used to get market animals up to weight quickly (to ensure profits). This is the situation the “consumer” has created without realizing it and with current disassociation factor that we have from the operations of these farms, it is easy for us to eat that chicken sandwich without remorse or regret from the facts that got that chicken sandwich to out plate.
Diminished care practices and lack of intimacy in commercial food animal production are related to cost minimization and economies of scale. For example, today the vast majority of beef cattle are not permitted to graze for long on grass fields because it is more efficient to raise them in densely populated feedlots (Purcell, N. 2011).
The advancement in technology can be partly to blame for the separation from human-animal relationships in regards to these factory farms. Cooling devices have improved, allowing for longer storage, and in transportation with refrigerated trucks and trains. These advancements certainly led way to the factory farming industry becoming a huge industry and a common miss-perception is that big businesses must be professional and or responsible with their operations. The demand for cheap meat to feed the growing population will have these mass production farms searching for all means possible to turn a profit. This turn of events will cause a ripple effect on the animal’s health and welfare to the quality of the product that ends on the consumer’s plate. In meat production, cheaper is not better.
Factory Farms exposed to Animal Cruelty In recent events, undercover agents have been posing as workers in these factory farms, collecting data, secretly filming the poor living and health conditions of the animals. For example a Texas factory farm was exposed in June of 2011 for the torturing and inhumane treatment of calves at a dairy operation. The videos recorded show the workers bashing in the skulls of calves with hammers or pickaxes. Some show the calves being dragged by their ears, burned alive all in attempt to kill them (Journal of farming, 2011). The efforts of the undercover investigators paid off, felony charges for five workers and two were charged with misdemeanors. The owner and foreman of the E6 Cattle Co. in Hart, Texas is the receivers of the misdemeanor charges, which is not fair, means they can continue doing business (Journal of farming, 2011). More undercover work by Mercy for Animals investigators found a Wal-Mart pork supplier practicing extreme cruelty to pigs. Hidden camera operations by the investigators showed sick baby pigs being slammed down head first on concrete floors in order to kill. This was their way to deal with sick piglets to save on veterinary expenses, just simply kill them and throw